May's been a mixed month so
far with several days of thunderstorms, which
kept me busy although as you will see below the
biggest thunderiest storms proved to be the least
photogenic! Conversely a convective
"failure" gave me the best photos of
Action kicked off on May 4th and conditions
looked to be quite promising to start with with
the updraught tower L zooming up and looking
threatening. This was seen from the
Machynlleth-Llanidloes mountain road and it
morphed into a local cloudburst that affected
Dinas Mawddwy and Aberangell. As you can see
conditions are a bit hazy - a theme we shall keep
returning to on this page!
Another thunderstorm from May 4th moving across N
Cardigan Bay, included more for reference
purposes than for its photogenic quality!
However, things do get better!
This was on the evening of Sunday May 7th. I'd
been leading a geological field-trip all day in
Snowdonia, but on my return convection seemed to
be kicking off so I headed off up the mountain
road. Convection wasn't strong but the display of
crepuscular sunrays was one of the best I have
seen for a long time.....
rays are best seen when there's a lot of
particulate matter in the atmosphere - dust,
pollen etc. The particles scatter the sunlight
and the more are there, the greater the effect of
Make the most of this clear sky - back to haze
Thunder and fairly close lightning disrupted
another field trip on the afternoon of Thursday
May 11th, and with a similar forecast for the
12th I decided to go on a mission, so I headed
north up to Snowdonia. This is a rare chance to
stand in the middle of the A5 near Ogwen without
getting run over!
Over the Carneddau, towers were boiling up.
Despite the haze this looked promising....
Another tower, from by the Twin Lakes at Capel
it fragmented halfway up. This was not looking so
The Snowdon group under hazy blue (well sort of!)
It was now close to lunchtime and I decided to
head east along the A5, encouraged by a BBC
forecaster mentioning cells firing near Wrexham.
Things certainly looked more interesting near
To my south these funny little towers were
forming and moving R-L towards, in the distance,
some larger cumulonimbus cells...
again disintegrating from below. I decided to
head NE towards Denbigh...
...where it became clear that visibility close to
the storms would be awful, so I turned and headed
back. This was taken about 4 miles from Denbigh
and shows a ragged but not particularly exciting
Back in Capel
Curig towers were still forming and
disintegrating over the Snowdon group...
...and meanwhile to the S another developing
tower had a wriggly little funnel-cloud that
persisted for 5-6 minutes under its base...
...photoshopped here to aid seeing it! I'm pretty
sure that it was a funnel because of its
smoothness and persistance but in that visibility
it was hardly earth-shattering stuff!
By now I had decided to head S and then SE -
vaguely in the direction of home, as there was
nothing much going on here! A last view of
A few miles E of Dinas Mawddwy on the Welshpool
road I ran into some bigger cells. This was taken
approaching them, and I pushed on in to get a
nice lightning display to round off the day!
After that it was home and pub-time. This is
looking back at the same group of storms. All I
can say is "DAMN THAT HAZE"!! Not the
most successful day out but I enjoyed the
The following day was much more interesting but
that film's still in the camera!
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